Customs controls of travellers

Finnish airports, ports and border crossing points have lively passenger traffic: Finnish and foreign holidaymakers, business travellers as well as travellers in transit. Of the millions of travellers to and from the EU as well as within the EU, Customs selects travellers for inspection, based on risk assessment.

What does Customs inspect?

According to the Customs Act, Finnish Customs has the right to stop and inspect a person arriving in or leaving the country. A customs inspection is performed in order to control the prohibition and restrictions as well as the transport of goods, such as:

  • whether taxes shall be levied on the goods brought into or taken out of the country
    • commercial imports from non-EU countries, commercial imports of alcohol from within the EU, tax free import allowances for travellers
  • whether it is allowed to transport the goods brought into or taken out of the country
    • narcotics, explosives, medicines, dangerous objects
  • whether the goods brought into or taken out of the country require a licence or a notification
    • weapons, military equipment, dual-use items, cash
  • whether there are quantitative restrictions for the goods brought into the country
    • alcohol, tobacco

How does Customs perform inspections?

Customs selects persons for inspection from passenger flows based on risk assessment. Detector dogs trained to detect drugs, cash, cigarettes and explosives provide excellent assistance in customs inspections.

In a customs inspection, a traveller’s luggage and outer clothing are inspected. In a more thorough inspection, Customs can ask the traveller to remove his or her clothes. The inspection is performed discreetly. The person is shown to the inspection facilities, where only the person performing the inspection and possibly a witness are present.

Points to consider

To carry out a customs inspection of a person does not require any evidence or suspicion of any offence. The selection is based on a risk assessment or other observation made by Customs.

According to a decision by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, stopping a person and discussing with him or her does not yet constitute a customs inspection.

Read more: Customs control

 


In Finland, filming and photography in public places is allowed. In authorities’ facilities to which the public does not have free access, filming and photography is not allowed. This means that it is allowed in a passenger terminal but not in Customs’ inspection facilities. When filming or taking photographs, do remember the privacy protection of people.


                            

Contact us
Customs Information Service, Private customers
Monday to Friday 8 am–4 pm

Contact Customs Information

The cost of a call from a landline or mobile phone subscription is 0 cents/min + local network charge/ standard mobile rate.
In car tax matters, kindly contact the Tax Administration (vero.fi)


Keywords

Help us improve our site content

We want to improve our service, which is why your feedback is valuable to us. If you have ideas on how our web services could be developed further or if you wish to give us feedback, please let us know.

Send feedback